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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerz

CaptainBerz's Passions

Hiking & Camping

CaptainBerz's Bio

More reviews at my youtube channel!

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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerzwrote a review of on May 22, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Kelty Trail Ridge 2 Tent is a great tent. The Kelty Trail Ridge 2 Tent is good for beginners or even seasoned backpackers/campers. At a decent price, the Kelty Trail Ridge 2 Tent gives you a lot for the money. It is not the lightest, but the Kelty Trail Ridge 2 Tent comes in a nice little sack. It comes with a cool feature where you can open up half the fly and stargaze. Ventilation is awesome with this tent, condensation is of no concern.

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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerzwrote a review of on December 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket is my go to super cold insulation layer. The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket (Hoody as well) has both PrimaLoft Gold and Down insulation, it is a blend. Due to this it makes for a all around insulation layer that works well in moisture laden areas where straight down would fail. The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket has a DWR pertex shell and a Pertex interior lining. Given that Black Diamond makes top notch gear, in over a year of outdoor, backpacking and even some usage while at the range, I have seen no issue at all. It packs down relatively small, provides great warmth and the fit is spot on for me. If you want a deep winter insulation layer, I say look no further than the Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket!

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CaptainBerzwrote a review of on December 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket is my go to super cold insulation layer. The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket (Hoody as well) has both PrimaLoft Gold and Down insulation, it is a blend. Due to this it makes for a all around insulation layer that works well in moisture laden areas where straight down would fail. The Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket has a DWR pertex shell and a Pertex interior lining. Given that Black Diamond makes top notch gear, in over a year of outdoor, backpacking and even some usage while at the range, I have seen no issue at all. It packs down relatively small, provides great warmth and the fit is spot on for me. If you want a deep winter insulation layer, I say look no further than the Black Diamond Cold Forge Jacket!

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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerzwrote a review of on November 28, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent looks like a winner! This MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent boasts being lightweight, packs small, made of modern materials and is easy to setup/pitch. Some of the top things this MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent shows me is it is pretty roomy with 39" of headroom and 25" of width per person for sleeping pads. Ventilation in this MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent is awesome. I reviewed the MSR Holler 2p tent in the past and it was lacking ventilation and had condensation issues. This MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent has great ventilation and mesh in key places to maximize ventilation. Use it for backpacking,camping, shtf, prepping if your a prepper, glamping or anything else. I am excited to get out and use this tent in 2017, look for a long term review summer 2017!

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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerzwrote a review of on November 28, 2016

5 5

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent looks like a winner! This MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent boasts being lightweight, packs small, made of modern materials and is easy to setup/pitch. Some of the top things this MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent shows me is it is pretty roomy with 39" of headroom and 25" of width per person for sleeping pads. Ventilation in this MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent is awesome. I reviewed the MSR Holler 2p tent in the past and it was lacking ventilation and had condensation issues. This MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person tent has great ventilation and mesh in key places to maximize ventilation. Use it for backpacking,camping, shtf, prepping if your a prepper, glamping or anything else. I am excited to get out and use this tent in 2017, look for a long term review summer 2017!

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CaptainBerzwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The Big Agnes Slater UL3+ Tent looks to be a big winner. The Big Agnes Slater UL3+ Tent has a cool garage to store stuff and give it an expedition style feel. I took my Big Agnes Slater UL3+ Tent out to get it broke in prior to using it on some upcoming trips. I like it so far but am curious if the breathable walls will do the trick over more mesh for ventilation. We shall see. Stay tuned for a full review of the Big Agnes Slater UL3+ Tent.

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on December 30, 2015

The Outdoor Research Zip Sack is a great companion for your backpacking gear. I have housed a ton of stuff in my Outdoor Research Zip Sacks, including spoons, firestarters, headlamps, etc. I have never had mine tear or even wear out much if any in my backpacks. I throw my Outdoor Research Zip Sack into my backpack and don't look back. While not water proof, it is water resistant. So as long as you do not submerge it for minutes on end this will do the trick for keeping your backpacking gear relatively dry. This is something I always want to use in multiple packs, it is made well and is a really interesting piece of backpacking/hiking kit. Not made in the USA, which is the only down side. Berz Rating: 92/100

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CaptainBerz

CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 26, 2015

This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket is a favorite of mine! With Sierra Designs using DriDown for this sweater jacket, even if this sweater jacket gets somewhat wet, it still keep you warm unlike regular down. That is huge! As always Sierra Designs has kept it real with their craftsmanship of this sweater jacket, materials used and functionality. It is a fitted fit which I like as I use this under my hard shells. This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket has thumb holes so what I have done is use them and throw on gloves and you have complete protection from the elements! This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket barely weighs anything, packs up small and comes in a few different colors. Granted, with any down garment you have to expect it to leak out down, so that is the only pain in the ass thing I have had with this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket. The price is below what the Outdoor Research Filament jacket I recent reviewed is, so I say go get you this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket if you want a great down insulation jacket for backpacking or even around town. This is not a super puffy jacket, so keep in mind this is a mid sized on the warmth it can give you. But it was dramatically warmer then the Outdoor Research Filiment. Berz Rating: 93/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 26, 2015

This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket is a favorite of mine! With Sierra Designs using DriDown for this sweater jacket, even if this sweater jacket gets somewhat wet, it still keep you warm unlike regular down. That is huge! As always Sierra Designs has kept it real with their craftsmanship of this sweater jacket, materials used and functionality. It is a fitted fit which I like as I use this under my hard shells. This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket has thumb holes so what I have done is use them and throw on gloves and you have complete protection from the elements! This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket barely weighs anything, packs up small and comes in a few different colors. Granted, with any down garment you have to expect it to leak out down, so that is the only pain in the ass thing I have had with this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket. The price is below what the Outdoor Research Filament jacket I recent reviewed is, so I say go get you this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket if you want a great down insulation jacket for backpacking or even around town. This is not a super puffy jacket, so keep in mind this is a mid sized on the warmth it can give you. But it was dramatically warmer then the Outdoor Research Filiment. Berz Rating: 93/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 26, 2015

This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket is a favorite of mine! With Sierra Designs using DriDown for this sweater jacket, even if this sweater jacket gets somewhat wet, it still keep you warm unlike regular down. That is huge! As always Sierra Designs has kept it real with their craftsmanship of this sweater jacket, materials used and functionality. It is a fitted fit which I like as I use this under my hard shells. This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket has thumb holes so what I have done is use them and throw on gloves and you have complete protection from the elements! This Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket barely weighs anything, packs up small and comes in a few different colors. Granted, with any down garment you have to expect it to leak out down, so that is the only pain in the ass thing I have had with this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket. The price is below what the Outdoor Research Filament jacket I recent reviewed is, so I say go get you this Sierra Designs DriDown Sweater Jacket if you want a great down insulation jacket for backpacking or even around town. This is not a super puffy jacket, so keep in mind this is a mid sized on the warmth it can give you. But it was dramatically warmer then the Outdoor Research Filiment. Berz Rating: 93/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 18, 2015

The Ibex Shak Classic Jacket is a USA made wool jacket. Ibex with this Shak Classic Jacket has set the standard with what a quality heirloom garment should look like. Buy once, cry once with this one! Excellent stitching, exceptional materials and a great fit sum up this Shak Classic Jacket. This is a good weight garment to use as a midlayer in clod conditions, or as a outerlayer in slightly cold conditions. I have used mine as my outerwear in backpacking in cold conditions where you want breath-ability but the ability to keep winds away. I have had no issues with the integrity of this garment and have used it for over a year. I have use it under my outerwear mostly in very cold conditions. Being wool it does not absorb stink and will keep you relatively warm even if wet. If you want a heirloom garment that someone will say, that was Grandpa or Grandma's wool jacket, check out the Ibex Shak Classic Jacket. Berz Rating: 100/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 15, 2015

The Nemo Galaxi 2p Tent is the perfect Backpacking tent. The Nemo Galaxi 2p Tent is relatively lightweight, made of durable materials and has performed well for me over the last 6 months. Nemo brings it with their choice of natural colors in a tent! For tactical minded people like me this is awesome. This Nemo Galaxi 2p Tent is put together very well, has great ventilation, space inside and I have had no condensation issues. What is the best part? It comes with a footprint! Almost all other tents you have to buy the footprint separate, but not the Nemo Galaxi 2p Tent! Just awesome. Berz Rating: 95/100

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CaptainBerzwrote a review of on September 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 210 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I love my pRana Stretch Zion Pants. I have used pRana Stretch Zion Pants for tactical and outdoor activities. They have been durable, comfortable, quick drying and very flexible. I would check out the pRana Stretch Zion Pants if you are looking for a low key looking tactical/outdoor pant. Hiking, backpacking, tactical it works for it all!

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on June 8, 2015

The Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack is a good option. With the Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack you are getting decent weight, lots of organization, great waist support and a solidly made pack. The one thing with this Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack is the waist support. It rotates around, so if you are hiking and are going through some terrain like rocks, hills, etc. the Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack moves with your movements, versus the pack moving in a solid way. It is quite different feeling, but in a good way. You will find plenty of storage mesh compartments throughout, and two outside water bottle holders. I travel with a saw and an axe and used the provided hiking pole holder for my axe and it worked great. This Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack has lots of compression straps, so whatever you put in there you can compress it easily.

The one area I see for improvement is the zippers. The Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack has waterproof zippers on it and they are a pain. Difficult to open, they get stuck at times and worst of all I have had some pop. Now I got them back on track with a simple zip and unzip, but they did pop. Could be the load I had in it and pushing limits, but these zippers need to be changed to challenge for a top notch backpack. On a smaller critique, the shoulder straps are narrow and could be enlarged to distribute the weight better across the shoulders. All in all, I do enjoy using the Black Diamond Mercury 65 Pack, but I am mindful of not going above 35 pounds. I have found that is the magic number. Getting much above that leads to shoulder strain. But around 35 pounds and this pack is killing it all day everyday. Also, bravo Black Diamond for using a mud color, similar to a dark coyote brown color. Many manufactures use bright colors, but people like me like just a simple brown or green. I am glad to see this type of color. Berz Rating: 83/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on February 4, 2015

The Outdoor Research Filament Pullover is great for the spring and fall, but do not try to use the Outdoor Research Filament Pullover in the winter as a good insulation layer. It does have limitations, but it is super lightweight. The Outdoor Research Filament Pullover makes you ask the question, is it worth $150? I have a Sierra Designs Dri Down Sweater which is warmer and a little cheaper. For me I think Outdoor Research needs to add some more down to this or come out with a "arctic" version which would be more down filled.

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on December 24, 2014

The Exped DownMat Lite 5 is a killer sleeping pad. Containing down insulation, the Exped DownMat Lite 5 provides a 4.1 R value and is a good option for winter backpacking, camping or adventuring. The Exped DownMat Lite 5 is not super lite and is not super heavy, it is a middle of the road pad in terms of weight. It has a horrible pump that comes with it called a mini pump and I recommend you click the link below and get the schnozzle pump, as it will work 75% better. The Exped DownMat Lite 5 performs and works well and have a great warranty. Berz Rating: 85/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on November 15, 2014

These MSR Titan Fork & Spoon work well in an outdoor or backpacking setting. If you do not mind spending $20 for a fork and spoon then this might be for you. The MSR Titan Fork & Spoon is made of titanium and is lightweight and has been durable for years for me. MSR usually makes great stuff and these work well. Berz Rating: 90/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on July 30, 2014

The prAna Stretch Zion Short have become my favorite shorts. I am not a fan of overly short or long shorts and these prAna Stretch Zion Short are right in the middle. Coming down just slightly past the knees, they are perfect. Upon putting them on you will notice a high amount of mobility versus other shorts and a cool little waist tightener on the side. I have concealed carried in these prAna Stretch Zion Shorts and the best part is they stretch so they expand as needed in that situation. I do not hike or backpack in shorts, but they do make a long pant version of these shorts which I would certainly be using as I use another pRana pant for backpacking (The Bronson Pant, previously reviewed).

The simple design and layout adds to this prAna Stretch Zion Short. Having a hidden pocket here and there helps. The rear pockets have always held my wallet and papers in nicely, and I have really come to love the stretch over normal shorts. They look awesome, feel awesome and ride awesome. True to size for the most part on the sizing side of things. The only thing I have seen is some wear on the belt loops, I would like to see some upgraded material for those, but I have used my 1.75" tactical belts plenty of times over the last few months and cannot complain. I would suggest the price come down some, as these are around $68 and I do not see many places with cheaper prices. So I would wait until they are on clearance and clean them out!

I have seen barely any wear on this short, minus the belt loops. They look just the same as they did prior the my 50 times wearing them and multiple laundry trips. Color is still strong and the construction in place. These look like they will last a long time, and I look forward to them doing just that.

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on July 16, 2014

The Jansport Klamath backpack is a great pack that I have come to enjoy. With the Jansport Klamath backpack you will get a great suspension which is the high point on this pack. It holds weight very well and keeps your pack stable over long hauls in the woods. The Jansport Klamath backpack is 4lbs 13ozs which is middle of the pack in terms of weight. I do believe that weight could be brought down by replacing the body and top part of the pack with lighter weight materials and leaving the heavier materials on the bottom of the pack. This would leave heavy material to combat being set on the ground, but realistically there is no reason to have the same weight fabric on the top of the pack as the bottom. Could probably shave off a pound by doing just that. The Jansport Klamath backpack uses middle of the pack hardware like zipper and buckles. Nothing to complain about or rave about, they just get the job done. Being it is almost half the price of most Gregory packs I think you could get this Jansport Klamath backpack and be happier than spending twice as much for a Gregory or any other foreign made $300+ pack. Berz Rating: 83/100

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CaptainBerzposted a video about on July 16, 2014

The Jansport Klamath backpack is a great pack that I have come to enjoy. With the Jansport Klamath backpack you will get a great suspension which is the high point on this pack. It holds weight very well and keeps your pack stable over long hauls in the woods. The Jansport Klamath backpack is 4lbs 13ozs which is middle of the pack in terms of weight. I do believe that weight could be brought down by replacing the body and top part of the pack with lighter weight materials and leaving the heavier materials on the bottom of the pack. This would leave heavy material to combat being set on the ground, but realistically there is no reason to have the same weight fabric on the top of the pack as the bottom. Could probably shave off a pound by doing just that. The Jansport Klamath backpack uses middle of the pack hardware like zipper and buckles. Nothing to complain about or rave about, they just get the job done. Being it is almost half the price of most Gregory packs I think you could get this Jansport Klamath backpack and be happier than spending twice as much for a Gregory or any other foreign made $300+ pack. Berz Rating: 83/100

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